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Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

OKC Thunder beats Memphis Grizzlies on breakaway day at Salt Lake City Classic

By meerna Jul11,2024
OKC Thunder beats Memphis Grizzlies on breakaway day at Salt Lake City Classic

In the heat of the MLB season, the Thunder and Grizzlies paid homage to the National Past-time by playing their typical run-day game, a sloppy game that was the equivalent of each team throwing in a starter and kicking six grounders apiece with Vegas in their sights.

The Oklahoma City Thunder wrapped up their Salt Lake City Summer League stay on Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies in their third game in two days. The Thunder were again without Alex Ducas for the game, while Memphis rested Jake LaRavia and Zach Edey on the day they left.

Early on, both teams traded the lead five times in the first period, eventually settling the score at 20-19 thanks to some great defensive plays.

OKC Thunder rookie Dillon Jones had three interceptions in the first quarter, another impressive performance that overshadowed media coverage in Salt Lake City.

Oklahoma City’s offense was hampered by their lack of success from beyond the arc — shots were often dead on the rim. That was to be expected, considering they’d played three straight days at altitude; the lack of legs underneath them on jump shots isn’t a cardinal sin.

The Thunder and Grizzlies traded the lead 15 times in the first half, with eight ties allowing Oklahoma City to take a 34-33 lead at the break.

Ajay Mitchell got out of his car, which had broken down on the side of the road, and began pushing it toward a gas station. It’s hard to call a player the engine of a team that had scored only 80 points, but that’s exactly what Mitchell was — his craft, body control, touch, and vision opened doors for the Thunder’s offense.

Mitchell finished with 21 points, five rebounds, an assist and 7-9 from the field. The two-way forward, selected with the 38th overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, showed his value all week in Utah.

Neither side’s lead grew into double digits in a close contest as both sides scored in the fourth period, eventually tying the score at 58 per side. Things really started to come together for the Thunder in the final seven minutes of the game.

Oklahoma City got back on track from beyond the arc to end the final frame. The Thunder maintained a two-point lead most of the way to the end of the game, defeating the Beale Street Ballers to close out the Salt Lake City circuit with a 2-1 score.

The OKC Thunder will then head to Las Vegas to kick off the NBA 2k25 Summer League season. Their first game will be on Saturday against the Toronto Raptors.

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By meerna

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